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Stand Up to Life: Life Lessons from Eminem

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Many of you may be familiar with the famous ‘8 Mile’ song Lose Yourself. In many ways, this song is a phenomenon, a brutally honest truth that just demands attention.

When we fall into tough times, a large majority of us find it easier to take the safest route, even though that may provide nothing more than a temporary solution. Most of us tend to go for ‘flight’. But choosing to display the flight reaction all the time may not necessarily make us stronger for the bigger battles of life. In all our lives, we are bound to face an unfamiliar crowd that is just ready to rip us apart. Not to say that we won’t trip at all. We will. Everybody does. But unless we try and keep up the fight, unless we take that bold step to cross the threshold, we will never know what lies on the other side. There is freedom, liberation, deliverance. Can you now see what we would be missing if we kept on making the flight response?

Ignore the blob 

Problems are there for a reason. They are constant reminders of where lies a scope for our own improvement. We will, quite certainly, have to face a crowd that is screaming ‘choke, choke’. We might still feel a little blob at the back of our throats, as though we are about to throw up, but sometimes we need to just stop focusing on that blob and belt out our song. Yes, we are the star of the show. We are the showstoppers. 

Make the investment 

But all of us know that being a star comes at a cost. An investment of time and constant effort. It is not easy to get there, but it is not impossible. Take the story of Eminem. His journey from being a man living in a trailer with his mother to a Grammy winner is dotted with struggles, pain, and dark memories. But if you remember the final rap battle from ‘8 Mile’, then you don’t need me to remind you how he just gave it back to his rivals. But what’s more important is that he was totally invested in it, despite his struggles and hardship. Of course, he had the best bunch of pals, but if it were not for his efforts, we would probably have never had classics like Lose Yourself, When I’m Gone, and I Need a Doctor. The spine-chilling words are a testament to his mettle, which he hardened through years of toil, sweat, and tears.

A simple choice 

That goes for all of us too. It’s a matter of simple choice. Life will keep placing hurdles before us, but unless we learn something from them, we won’t ever improve or grab at the opportunities. Ring a bell? ‘You only get one shot, do not miss your chance to blow.’ So, the gist is, it’s we who are capable of being our own emotional dependence. That way, we will know what we are falling back on, and a leap of faith will be far easier to take.

Abhijit Chakraborty is a senior content editor at upGrad, a digital education organisation in India. He is also a mental health advocate.


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